Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

Nothing lost in space - this time

The astronauts lubricated the space stations mechanical arm
The latest space walk was a success

Repairs to jammed mechanical joints on the International Space Station's solar collectors have been successful, says Nasa.

On Tuesday the space walkers lost an expensive tool bag while attempting similar repairs.

This time they took no chances triple checking all their equipment to make sure it was all tied down.

This spacewalk lasted over six hours, two more are planned for the current mission.

Grease gun

The repairs to the International Space Station's solar collectors are anything but high tech; the astronaut's mission was to grease bearings on the device to allow it to open properly.

Two grease guns were amongst the $100,000 of equipment which drifted off into space earlier in the week.

With this equipment missing, astronaut Heidemarie Stefanshyn Piper improvised by using a glove to smear grease on to the jammed components.

The spacewalk also involved lubricating bearings on the space station's robot arm and moving rail carts to clear a path for further construction work.

Breathing problem

Nasa's flight director Ginger Kerrick described this spacewalk as a success.

"The crew did an awesome job today." he said.

Before going outside, Heidemarie Stefanshyn Piper said "I hope I don't lose anything today."

However there did seem to be a problem with the breathing apparatus of her fellow spacewalker Shane Kimborough, who had higher than normal levels of carbon dioxide in his spacesuit. Lead spacewalk officer John Ray said it was not a serious problem.

"The level [of carbon dioxide] never got to a level that we would have been concerned that it would cause him any problems." he said.

The repairs to the space station are part of a wider overhaul and construction project designed to allow more astronauts to work at the space station at any one time. An extra bathroom, kitchen and two bedrooms have already been installed.



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